Titleholder National University lagged in the first set but rediscovered its winning form in the next three to dispose of University of the Philippines, 18-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-11, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday.
The Fighting Maroons shocked the Lady Bulldogs in the first frame, thanks to Alyssa Bertolano’s efforts down the stretch to fend off the defending champions, 25-18.
But NU, coming off a five-set loss to University of Santo Tomas that snapped its 20-game winning streak, barked back in the second and third periods highlighted by strong starts and a huge run that saw them score 10 straight points midway through the fourth set finished off UP.
“Needed bounce-back win talaga, na kailangan talaga namin. Kasi from a loss na siguro, even yung confidence naapektuhan din, nanghinayang kaming lahat. Sana mag-tuloy-tuloy itong panalo namin na ito,” said coach Karl Dimaculangan.
Unusual suspects for the Lady Bulldogs were Sheena Toring and Vangie Alinsug with 14 and 13 points, respectively. The the former made six service aces, while the latter added 11 excellent digs.
Reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen and libero Jen Nierva were only used for a part of the first set, Instead, Alinsug and Shaira Jardio replaced the two the rest of the game.
Alyssa Solomon chimed in 13 points as well. Cess Robles got 12 of her own to go with 12 digs, while Camilla Lamina tossed 21 excellent sets.
Steph Bustrillo led the Fighting Maroons with 13 points, while Bertolano had nine points.
UP will clash with University of Santo Tomas on Saturday. Meanwhile, NU will next battle University of the East on Sunday, both at Philsports Arena.